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Understanding the Benefits of Charter Schools

Aug 6, 2018 by

A quality education is invaluable. But quality is a subjective term. Some parents choose to send their children to private institutions that cost thousands of dollars in annual tuition. Does paying for an education mean it’s quality? Or is a public school education just as beneficial? Many believe that quality is based on the educators, resources, curriculum, and individual student skills and motivation. Charter schools are growing in popularity for a variety of reasons. But what exactly makes a charter school different? Read on to discover what a charter school is and their many benefits.

What is a Charter School?

Charter schools are very similar to public schools in terms of funding. Just like public schools, which fall under the umbrella of the public school system and receive funding based on enrollment, so do charter schools. The major difference is that charter schools have the ability and flexibility to create their own standards and teach outside the parameters of the public school requirements. But that doesn’t mean charter schools can slack off. In order to keep their public funding and remain open, charter schools must keep students, parents, and educators happy. They must uphold their promises in terms of education and meeting certain criteria and standards. Traditionally, the parents, community members, and educators who open and operate the charter school create a mission statement, outlining the school’s plan and approach to teaching. The state must approve this criteria in order for the charter school to receive funding, which they do based on the number of students enrolled. Without enrollment, charter schools will lose funding and could eventually close. Parents are able to choose between the public school system and charter schools in the area without having to pay any type of tuition.

What are the Benefits of Charter Schools?

There are countless benefits to a charter school education, both for students and teachers. Take a look.

Flexibility to Meet Student Needs

This is the most notable benefit of charter schools. Because the classroom environment and curriculum are created and designed by the teachers, and not dictated by the school system, student’s individual needs are met. Teachers have the freedom to adjust lessons, curriculum, and schedules according to their student’s needs and abilities. Of course, they must do so in accordance with the school’s mission statement and uphold the standards promised to parents. But without having to answer directly to the public school system or work within their guidelines, charter schools can adjust their approach based on a child’s needs. Check out this charter school in Vineyard Utah to learn more.

Accountability

In terms of ensuring that children receive the level of education they deserve and want, the accountability found at charter schools is unmatched. In order to maintain their public-funding, charter schools must have a steady enrollment of students that warrant such funding. This means providing quality education that keeps parents, staff, and students happy. The state will monitor a charter school’s performance and could cut funding if standards are not upheld. This offers parents increased peace of mind in terms of their children receiving the quality education they were promised and deserve.

Ability to Receive Additional Funding

Charter schools are also eligible for additional funding from donations and fundraising opportunities. These funds are often gathered to support a specific program or cause. Because charter schools are created and operated by the community, fundraising opportunities are often highly successful. One hurdle that charter schools must face is that they are solely responsible for the purchase and maintenance of the school property and building where they reside. Unlike public schools, charter schools have a difficult time taking on large capital improvement projects. However, staunch supporters of the charter school approach to education often make large donations to these establishments. There are no restrictions in terms of how much money charter schools can accept through donation or fundraising.

Less Government Intervention

Because charter schools are established and run by parents, educators, and community members, their guidelines are not dictated directly by the government. This means less bureaucracy and more freedom to choose what’s best for the establishment and students. Something to keep in mind is that because charter schools don’t follow government regulations, certain standards may not be upheld in terms of teacher certifications and curriculum. It’s important to research the specific charter school and learn their mission statement, values, and educational framework.

Additional Information to Consider

Charter schools offer their share of amazing benefits. But for both students and educators, there is some additional information that you should know about these establishments. Here are a few more things to consider when discussing charter schools.

Transportation

The cost of transportation and bussing isn’t always covered by the charter school. Sometimes, parents will either have to transport their children to and from school or pay out of pocket for transportation services. This varies from school to school. If children are within walking distance of the charter school, this may also be a viable way to commute.

Admission Requirements

There are often admission requirements for students at charter schools. For some schools, this application process can prove rather difficult. Not all charter schools choose to offer programs for lower-income families such as subsidized lunches. This may prove difficult for families working on a budget.

Research is Required

Parents and teachers seeking employment should research a charter school the same way they would any other educational establishment. It’s important to understand the school’s educational plan, curriculum, standards, and approaches to learning. Find out the average class size and what extracurricular activities are available. Most charter schools have athletic teams, which may be an important factor for students interested in sports and teachers looking for coaching positions.

Charter schools offer another choice when it comes to education. Just like public schools, students can attend free of charge, as long as they complete the application and admissions process. Teachers have the freedom to teach based on individual student needs, which creates less stress and more creativity. Charter schools are all about choice. Do your research to determine if this type of education setting is the right choice for you.

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